Planning a Polyamorous Wedding?
Polyamory marriages are not only possible but amazing!
It’s 2021, y’all. Planning a polyamorous wedding shouldn’t be such a chore. Yet, somehow, society still views everything as binary. As a trans wedding photographer, I pride myself in exploring ways to give society the middle finger. I’ve been extremely non-judgemental. Maybe because I was bullied as a kid, always the outsider. When I was in kindergarten, my “boyfriend” Nick wanted to date a girl named Lauren. When he told me he needed to break up with me to date her, I said, “why can’t you date us both?” Ah, sweet innocence. In 2017, this memory finally resonated with me and I realized that maybe polyamory relationships could be a good fit for me. After all, monogamy certainly hadn’t been working for me (here’s looking at you, ex-husbands)! In March 2017, I joined the Austin poly community, and boy, it changed me. Entirely. I’m a completely different person because of polyamory. Somehow, when you step outside the bounds of societal expectation, you can do it with other things too. Bye heteronormativity! Bye cisgender! Bye horrific communication skills! It was/has been an incredible experience.
While I’m not actively polyamorous (my career(s) are my other relationships), I believe it’s my natural orientation. My Creatrix brand set its sights on being one of the best polyamorous wedding photographers. Of course, this still isn’t quite common. A LOT of monogamous photographers will really struggle with the dynamics and posing of a polyamorous relationship. For me, everyone is treated as equally as possible, even if that isn’t the inherent relationship dynamic. It isn’t my job to discern the exact dynamics, because it isn’t my business. It’s my job to make sure that everyone feels like they received what they needed out of the experience and making sure I understand the structure of the relationships. Is it a V, where two people date one person but not one another? You need to know these things!
Now, let’s chat about planning a polyamorous wedding.
Tips for planning a polyamorous wedding!
Hire a wedding planner
Trust me on this. A wedding planner will really help with any tension or disagreements within your relationship. They can be an objective voice in your experience. Wedding planners are used to sifting through demands from moms and honoring a client’s vision. If they can handle pushy mothers, handling discord in a dynamic is an easy day! Of course, not every wedding planner is polyamory friendly or even just comfortable. I have a running list that is updated every year for LGBT-friendly wedding vendors, but the poly-friendly wedding vendors are also marked! My favorite (and an excellent friend) is my friend Cassie with Bride’s Best Friend who I interviewed on my blog not too long ago!.
Lesbihonest: polyamory doesn’t mean you’re automatically good at communication. “Do the work” is basically the community motto but of course, work is hard. Communication styles are ingrained at an early age and so hard to overcome. However, when it comes to a wedding with a polyamorous relationship, picture it like a group project in high school. Ugh. I know, I know. Less than ideal comparison, but it’s true. Some people are better at one thing, while others excel at another. Maybe Partner 1 is great at making task lists but Partner 2 is fabulous at sending emails. Maybe Partner 3 just doesn’t have time, while Partner 4 can dedicate hours upon hours researching vendors. Play to everyone’s strengths and that should make it easier!
While this isn’t the same across the board, some folx have a dynamic where one couple is legally married and the partner(s) participating in the event are shackled with the government’s laws and unable to be legally hitched. I’ve read where some couples divorce to keep the footing equal. This isn’t always suitable, so make sure to discuss what the marriage will look like. Of course, in theory, you’ve already figured this out before the wedding. In theory. If you haven’t figured out where people will sleep on which days or when the rotation of date days will occur, it’s time to sit down and have that discussion.
Building a Timeline
I wrote a blog about building a wedding timeline, but with polyamorous weddings, there’s more to take into consideration. First, you *must* hire a second photographer, at minimum. That’s the only way you’ll be able to record most of the day’s activities in so many ways. To capture the story of the whole day, just like couples would, you need to space out time for getting ready photos and portraits. All of the portraits. More time for family, the wedding party (if you have one), and of course, the couples/whole dynamic imagery. This is something to discuss with your wedding photographer (hire me and I’ve gotchu!) to make sure all expectations are met.
How will your ceremony look? Is there a way you’ll exhibit the connection of everyone involved? A handfasting that includes everyone is helpful. Everyone can be involved in sand pouring. Taking turns giving one another vows, even if one dynamic isn’t romantic, can really bring the experience together into something memorable. Planning a polyamorous wedding means you need to pay attention to small details like this one. An example of a triad wedding ceremony with a knot tying is below!
Planning a polyamorous wedding is exciting. Sometimes family doesn’t want to be involved, but that’s okay. You’re creating a brand new family. That’s the beauty of polyamory: it can be whatever the hell you want it to be. Renegotiate and restructure the relationships as time goes on. Communicate your needs. Value autonomy. One day, poly relationships will be the norm. The kids these days are really into it, so I have no doubt it’ll be more accepted as time goes on.
Go forth and multiply. It’s the gay thing to do.
Seeking a polyamory portrait photographer? Make sure to check out the different sessions I’ve done!